Both Android and iOS are indeed formidable operating systems, which is why both have held a majority of the market for some time now. However, as an iOS user, I can’t help but look at Android with an eye of jealousy. Perhaps it’s my love of minimal, utilitarian interfaces, or just the ability to modify Android to your heart’s content. Perhaps it’s the availability of widgets, or the fact that Android is much more open than iOS.
Nonetheless, whether you’re just looking to fix some minor annoyances or the look of your iOS device, this guide (which has been in the works for weeks now) compiles some of the best hacks and tweaks that anyone can do, and goes much farther than just providing visual tweaks. Make note that you do need to be jailbroken for this to work, so if you’re not, check this out for more info on how to jailbreak.
BgVideo — For some strange reason, Apple removed the ability to play background video in iOS 6.1. This tweak allows you to play background video from YouTube or any other source of quicktime audio. Make sure to add the Repo: http://cydia.myrepospace.com/bestguyhaha/
NoStoreButton — The fact that Apple included a “Store” button in their music player app irks me. It’s plain wrong if you ask me, considering that occasionally many users tends to accidentally touch it, thus opening the iTunes app.
AdBlocker — Ads aren’t just annoying, they slow down loading speeds on sites in apps like safari and chrome. Blast ads away with this app!
StartToNow — Makes Google Now the first thing you see when you open the official Google app for iOS. It’s available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for free.
Jelly Bean Lockscreen — This is a free tweak found in Cydia that allows you to morph your bland lockscreen into one nearly identical to that found in Android Jelly Bean. Make sure to add the Repo: cydia.myrepospace.com/maxkatzmann to get the tweak.
Roboto — Introduced in Android 4.0, Roboto came to symbolize the stark minimalism that Google was trying to achieve in Android. The typeface looks wonderful and crisp in iOS.
Dashboard X — This tweak allows you to place notification center widgets on your home screens. Much like on Android, you’ve got a small selection of widgets to place, with many more available for downloading.
Music Widget — Once Dashboard X is installed, you can look for widgets by opening up the app, scrolling to the bottom, and tapping the “More Widgets” button.
Cardswitcher — I couldn’t find a tweak that could replace iOS multitasking with something that emulated Android’s method of multitasking, but Cardswitcher provides you with a much more aesthetically pleasing way to multitask than the current app switcher. Think of WebOS multitasking, which really seems to match with the iPhone’s design language, regardless of how the rest of the UI looks.
Springtomize 2 — This app allows you to change anything and everything about iOS, from the status bar to your lockscreen. Note that the smaller than usual icons were set up this way through the app.
Gridlock 2.0 — Android users have the ability to place icons anywhere on their screens that they please to. This tweak brings such personalization to iOS.
Minimal MIUI — After all of my attempts to create a them for iOS using the official Android 4.2 icons failed, I can only recommend the next best thing, a beautifully crafted set of iOS icons which adds a minimal aesthetic to your homescreen.
Lorem — An app that lets you dismiss notifications from the notification center by swiping it away. This is one of my all time favorite features of Android, and I was really glad I could get it on iOS.
OpenNotifier — In Android, whenever you have a message, a small icon pops up in the menu bar. This is quite helpful for whenever you forget you have a new message, and a nice thing to have on a platform other than Android.
BlurriedNCBackground – Not necessarily an Android-related fix, but this tweak creates a semi-transparent, blurred background which seams together the notification center and the rest of the operating system.
NCSettings — Having to go into the settings to change a simple thing like WiFi is annoying. This tweak brings a quick method of changing your settings to your notification center. Note that you need to place the widget in your notification center by heading to the notification center settings.
Cool Android-esque Features
Photosynth — Even though the ability to take panorama shots was touted as one of the highlights of iOS 6, Android users already enjoyed the ability to take panorama photos for over a year before Apple users. However, the differences between Android’s stock camera app and iPhone’s stock camera app became even larger when Android 4.1 introduced the ability to take “Photosphere” images (think street view on Google Maps). Photosynth is a free app for iOS, and allows you to do the same thing. Surprising thing: The app is made by Microsoft.
NowNow — Allows for a long press on the Home Button to bring up the Google Search App.